In August 1969, leaders in the Palestinian left-wing organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) learned that Yitzak Rabin, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States was scheduled to be aboard a Trans World Airlines (TWA) Rome-Athens-Tel Aviv flight. Late that month (on the 29th), two operatives, Leila Khaled and Salim Issawi, hijacked the aircraft. The operation was successful, although Rabin was not aboard. The hijackers demanded that the pilots land the aircraft at Damascus, Syria. All hostages except two Israeli passengers were released (5 slightly injured), although the nose section of the aircraft, a Boeing 707, was blown up. The two Israeli hostages were released in December that year in return for 71 Syrian and Egyptian soldiers released by Israel.